The Back Cove 32 adheres to the values that have made this built-in-Maine brand so popular: a single-diesel, fuel-efficient, low-maintenance, user-friendly cruiser with lobsterboat heritage. It has all the amenities for a comfortable day or weekend cruise.
The 32 is built as a pocket cruiser. “We recognize there’s a market for boats this size,” says Bentley Collins, VP of sales and marketing for Back Cove Yachts and Sabre Yachts. “People want to cruise at 25 knots with their family and friends. It’s a gentleman’s cruiser. But it gets the fuel economy of a trawler and it goes fast enough so you can get where you want for a weekend or outrun a sudden storm.”
It’s easy to board the boat from the external swim platform; a large centerline door opens into a cockpit where there’s an L-shaped settee in each corner, with a varnished cherry table in front of each settee.
A large hatch opens at the back of the cockpit where there’s a lazarette for stowage and access to the steering gear. Push a button on the starboard side of the cockpit and the entire cockpit sole lifts up for engine access. Two steps down from the cockpit, the big 435-horsepower Volvo Penta diesel (an optional upgrade) is mounted deep for a low center of gravity, and there’s walking room all around.
The bridgedeck is protected by a hardtop overhead and by large windows on both sides. The galley is up, on the starboard side, and has a Thetford two-burner cooktop, a stainless sink, convection microwave, and stowage in drawers under the solid-surface countertop. On the port side, a U-shaped settee surrounds a high-gloss inlaid table.
The helm itself has an elevated wood border with a single 16-inch Garmin GPSMap 7616 display, plus the Volvo engine display. Sightlines from the helm are excellent. The 32 has a large, three-pane windshield; the middle one opens for ventilation. Big side windows slide back to open. A large overhead hatch slides astern to open (instead of tilting up) so you can run with the hatch open.
To go below, you slide a large, centered fiberglass door to the side and descend two steps to the cabin and head. For a 32-foot boat, I was surprised by the amount of space. The cabin has a teak-and-holly sole, Herreshoff-style side panels, and standing headroom at the foot of the centered island double berth. Back Cove has made good use of space by separating the head and shower into two compartments.
Back in the cockpit, the side decks are up one step on each side; the decks themselves are 10¼ inches wide with stainless steel side rails high enough so you feel safe going forward.
Below the waterline, the boat has a 16-degree deadrise at the transom, which made for a comfortable, stable ride. The hull is resin-infused with PVC foam core sandwich and strengthened via a resin-infused foam-cored stringer system.
We quickly cruised past Tenants Harbor and around the iconic fishing village of Port Clyde running at 24.5 knots at 3230 rpm. We had the Gulf of Maine all to ourselves, passing Halfway Rock with its tall light at 24 knots and eventually picking up Portland Head Light blinking white in the far distance. We did not need its help on this beautiful day. — Peter A. Janssen
DISPL.: 15,000 lb.
FUEL: 185 gal.
WATER: 80 gal.
STANDARD POWER: 1/370-hp Volvo Penta D6 or 1/370-hp Yanmar 8LV
BASE PRICE: $320,000
PRICE AS TESTED: $425,000